Timor People Culture

14 Feb 2010


Timor island is divided into 2 areas, the west part is Indonesian territory with total area around 13.753 square kilo meters, and east part is the Timor Leste which has just freed themselves from Indonesia in 1999 after hundreds of years under Portugal colonization. Indonesia Timor itself consists of various ethnics, and this is a real ethnic groups, as described below.

  1. Roti and Belu People; Roti people is the resident of Roti island, while Belu inhabit the land of Timor. They have similarity in physical and cultural elements. Their physical characteristics showing the mixture between Malay and Melanesian, only the Rotinese showing preponderant Malay characteristic, while Belu showing more Melanesian characteristic such as curling hairs, dark brown to black skin color, shorter body size. The language the spoke have much in common, although they are not understand each other.
  2. Helon People; they live around the city of Kupang and have their own language, physical characteristics showing much closer to Melanesian.
  3. Atoni People; live neighboring to Helon people, and in Kupang they are called “Mountain People” or aborigines, since their Melanesian characteristics is strong, such as short body size, dark brown skin color, curling hairs, and brachepal head. The name Atoni was coming from themselves which means ” human “. They also have their own language which is not understood by other ethnics.
  4. Kemak People and Marae People; There are 2 groups have some similarities in their language and physical characteristics. Their physical characteristics are dark brown to black skin color, dolichepal head and curling hairs, body size is higher than average Timorese. Marae people speak their own language called ” Huna “
  5. Kupang People; In Kupang city live a mixed people between local, Chinese, Arabian, and other parts of Indonesia. So there is a great variation in physical characteristics but showing no group affinity. Their communication is Indonesian language with strongly Timorese intonation.

Timorese basic subsistence is farming product such as corn, rice, cassava, colocasia antiquorum, vegetables, bean, juices, coffee, onion, and tobacco. Cattle breeding is famous for their cows which is supplied for Java ( west Indonesia ), and the sandal woods, a very expensive wood in west Indonesia. Other cattle they also grow ships, pigs and chickens.
Large part of the population have been Christian, yet local belief is quiet strong such as go of the sky and earth, invisible good and evil spirits and ancestors’ holy soul. For them the people make ceremonies at certain time

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